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Case of abandoned NRI brides, Supreme Court issues notice to the State
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  • Date: 02 Aug 2019
  • Immigration
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Eight women file pleading on behalf of 40,000 abandoned brides, want an immediate arrest, confiscating of passports and quick legal steps.

In New Delhi, eight women alleged that they were abandoned as brides by their husbands living abroad, thus have approached the Supreme Court seeking justice and measures to address their issue. The plea was filed on behalf of other 40,000 abandoned brides; they primarily want the restoration of the strict provisions in the anti-dowry law which provides for the prompt arrest of the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) husbands.

The Supreme Court on 13th November 2018 issued a notice to the Government, directing to file an affidavit within six weeks on the formulation of a policy on this matter. They have claimed that around 40,000 women are speculated to have fell prey to Indian men, leaving them in a “very dubious situation emotionally, financially, and in terms of the health”. Whereas, the men have fled to different countries such as Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand, and the other countries, usually with the cash and jewellery of the brides and they further go-ahead believing that nothing can be done against them.

They further state that the purpose of approaching the court is because they can't file the FIR in such case. The petitioners say that they had no option but to approach the Supreme court as, without any specific law, they were struggling to initiate any legal action against their absconding husbands. This petition also underlines the difficulties that the women face for initiating legal steps.

Most important is the hesitation of the police machinery to take the crime seriously. The police try to force the woman not to file a First information report (FIR). Even the lodging of an FIR needs effort, as their husbands being abroad, it becomes easy for them to ignore summons even in the cases that have made it to the trial stage. Quick delivery of the summons to NRI husbands is needed. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) recently cancelled the passport of around 25 men living abroad who had abandoned their wives, but the petitioners argue that even this process takes a long time.

In case of notices issued by the court and non-bailable warrants against husbands living abroad, the warrant is assigned to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which then forwards it to the body of Indian Mission Overseas. Often the summons/warrants are returned by the Ministry of Home Affairs to the local police station of the petitioner. This delays the process for months or year. The petition filed calls for the confiscating of passport. “If the passport is impounded, then men cannot avail of any benefits in the host countries. 

"The host authorities to flag their names and without a valid passport, getting an emergency passport and returning home is the only option left for the men,” the plea reads.

The petition makes shocking allegations about the lack of concern of the Centre, the National Commission for Women and its officials towards them. Here is an example:

  1. Abandoned brides repeatedly write to the consulates requesting them to find out where their husbands are, and responses are hardly given.
  2. When women contact the police of the foreign country directly, they are informed that their privacy laws don't permit the police to provide the location.
  3. Absence of statutory rules, leads the authorities adopting arbitrary measures.  In one incidence at Chennai, the authorities demanded the copy of the charge sheet and refused to impound the passports even after there is a court summons or a non-bailable warrant.
  4. Some members of the National Commission for Women are engaged in victim shaming. Some abandoned women met the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women in March 2018, and  her remark was “Who asked you to marry an NRI?”  This is the typical attitude of the Indian government, which is shameful for a body established by law for the defence of women’s rights to take the negative approach. 
  5. During discussions with officials of the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) women asked them as to how could they recover their money and assets from their abandoned husbands given as dowry, they were told that the women should consider that their husbands as dead and move on. “Callousness and insensitivity on the issue prevail in the administration”, said the petition.
  6. No assistance or legal aid is provided to the NRI abandoned brides by National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) or the State authorities.

Petitioners claim that abandoned brides have been ignored by passport authorities in Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ghaziabad, and Mumbai when they sought legal action against their husbands.

The petition has made the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the Ministries of Home Affairs (MHA), National Commission for Women (NCW), the Delhi Commission for Women and the Maharashtra Women’s Commission, as respondents.

The petition seeks suitable directions from the Supreme Court to the Indian embassies and High Commissions to play an active role in providing aid to abandoned NRI women.

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Case of abandoned NRI brides, Supreme Court issues notice to the State

By: Immigration 02 Aug 2019

Eight women file pleading on behalf of 40,000 abandoned brides, want an immediate arrest, confiscating of passports and quick legal steps.

In New Delhi, eight women alleged that they were abandoned as brides by their husbands living abroad, thus have approached the Supreme Court seeking justice and measures to address their issue. The plea was filed on behalf of other 40,000 abandoned brides; they primarily want the restoration of the strict provisions in the anti-dowry law which provides for the prompt arrest of the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) husbands.

The Supreme Court on 13th November 2018 issued a notice to the Government, directing to file an affidavit within six weeks on the formulation of a policy on this matter. They have claimed that around 40,000 women are speculated to have fell prey to Indian men, leaving them in a “very dubious situation emotionally, financially, and in terms of the health”. Whereas, the men have fled to different countries such as Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand, and the other countries, usually with the cash and jewellery of the brides and they further go-ahead believing that nothing can be done against them.

They further state that the purpose of approaching the court is because they can't file the FIR in such case. The petitioners say that they had no option but to approach the Supreme court as, without any specific law, they were struggling to initiate any legal action against their absconding husbands. This petition also underlines the difficulties that the women face for initiating legal steps.

Most important is the hesitation of the police machinery to take the crime seriously. The police try to force the woman not to file a First information report (FIR). Even the lodging of an FIR needs effort, as their husbands being abroad, it becomes easy for them to ignore summons even in the cases that have made it to the trial stage. Quick delivery of the summons to NRI husbands is needed. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) recently cancelled the passport of around 25 men living abroad who had abandoned their wives, but the petitioners argue that even this process takes a long time.

In case of notices issued by the court and non-bailable warrants against husbands living abroad, the warrant is assigned to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which then forwards it to the body of Indian Mission Overseas. Often the summons/warrants are returned by the Ministry of Home Affairs to the local police station of the petitioner. This delays the process for months or year. The petition filed calls for the confiscating of passport. “If the passport is impounded, then men cannot avail of any benefits in the host countries. 

"The host authorities to flag their names and without a valid passport, getting an emergency passport and returning home is the only option left for the men,” the plea reads.

The petition makes shocking allegations about the lack of concern of the Centre, the National Commission for Women and its officials towards them. Here is an example:

  1. Abandoned brides repeatedly write to the consulates requesting them to find out where their husbands are, and responses are hardly given.
  2. When women contact the police of the foreign country directly, they are informed that their privacy laws don't permit the police to provide the location.
  3. Absence of statutory rules, leads the authorities adopting arbitrary measures.  In one incidence at Chennai, the authorities demanded the copy of the charge sheet and refused to impound the passports even after there is a court summons or a non-bailable warrant.
  4. Some members of the National Commission for Women are engaged in victim shaming. Some abandoned women met the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women in March 2018, and  her remark was “Who asked you to marry an NRI?”  This is the typical attitude of the Indian government, which is shameful for a body established by law for the defence of women’s rights to take the negative approach. 
  5. During discussions with officials of the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) women asked them as to how could they recover their money and assets from their abandoned husbands given as dowry, they were told that the women should consider that their husbands as dead and move on. “Callousness and insensitivity on the issue prevail in the administration”, said the petition.
  6. No assistance or legal aid is provided to the NRI abandoned brides by National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) or the State authorities.

Petitioners claim that abandoned brides have been ignored by passport authorities in Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ghaziabad, and Mumbai when they sought legal action against their husbands.

The petition has made the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the Ministries of Home Affairs (MHA), National Commission for Women (NCW), the Delhi Commission for Women and the Maharashtra Women’s Commission, as respondents.

The petition seeks suitable directions from the Supreme Court to the Indian embassies and High Commissions to play an active role in providing aid to abandoned NRI women.
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Citizenship & Immigration Law in India

By: admin Immigration 26 Apr 2019

Now a day’s India has been receiving large numbers of immigrants, mostly from the neighbouring countries and some from different parts of the world, and hence it needs to be seen as a major immigration hub. The purpose of immigration is obtaining citizenship or nationality in another country. The law relating to citizenship or nationality in India is mainly governed by the provisions of the Constitution of India. 

The Constitution provides for Single Citizenship:

The provisions regarding citizenship are contained in Articles 5 to 11 in part II

Articles 5 to 9 of the Constitution provides for the status of persons as Indian citizens since the Commencement of the Constitution of India. 

Article 10 lays provisions for their continuance as such citizens, subject to the stipulations of any law which may be passed by the parliament. 

Article 11 of the Constitution provides power to the parliament to make any provisions regarding the acquisition, termination and other matters pertaining to citizenship. 

Article 5 states that at the commencement of this constitution, every person who has his domicile in the territory of India, along with the following:
- Who was born in the territory of India; or
- Either of whose parents were born in the territory of India; or
- Who has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than five years immediately preceding such commencement, shall be a citizen of India.

Article 6 of the Constitution provides for the rights of citizenship of certain persons who have migrated to India from Pakistan. 

Article 7 of the Constitution has made provisions for citizenship of certain migrants to Pakistan, and Article 8 provides for the rights of citizenship of certain persons of Indian origin residing outside India.

When any person enters a new country to establish permanent residence and ultimately getting citizenship, it is called Immigration. Immigration Law constitutes a very complicated set of rules, regulations, and exceptions, the residence of immigrants is subject to the conditions set by the Immigration Law. Every nation has specific laws to govern Immigration within it.

There are total 86 Immigration Check Posts all over India, catering to international traffic. Out of these, 37 ICPs are functioning under the Bureau of Immigration, while the concerned State Governments are managing the remaining.

The law which exclusively governs Immigration in a nation is called the Immigration Law. For instance, a Government may in its discretion determine who it may allow in, and for how long, and who it may deport, the subject of course to internationally accepted basic human rights and principles.

As far as foreign citizens are concerned, Immigration Law is related to the Nationality Law of a national governing the matters relating to citizenship. International Law regulates Immigration Law concerning the citizens of a country. Hence, Immigration law refers to national government policies which control the phenomenon of immigration to their country.

What is the embarkation form? 

A departure card or embarkation form, also known as an outgoing passenger card, is a Legal Document used by immigration officials to provide passenger identification and record of a person’s departure from certain countries. It also serves as a piece of information about health and character requirements for non-citizens entering a particular country.

The departure card includes details like full name, nationality, passport number, flight number or name of aircraft, ship or vehicle, the purpose of the trip, duration of stay, destination (next stop of disembarkation), and the address in the country.

Various Acts Governing Immigration Into India:
- The Citizenship Act, 1955 
- The Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939 
- The Immigration (Carriers Liability) Act, 2000
- The Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920
- The Passports Act, 1967
- The Emigration Act, 1983
- Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 1976
- The Foreigners Act, 1946
- Foreigners Law (Application and Amendment) Act, 1962.

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